County Councillor Graham Timms.
Llangollen county councillor Graham Timms gives his latest update to llanbogger readers on the 2020 plan which aims to transform the town centre. Cllr Timms chairs the 2020 Group which is in charge of the project:
"The plans for the new
town centre are almost complete and a Denbighshire County Council consultation
will take place over a three week period starting in June.
consultation will give everyone the chance to see the proposals in detail and
to submit their comments, both in person or online.
"Denbighshire officers want
to provide the opportunity for as many as possible to participate to share
intended to tarmac Castle Street at a cost of £500,000, but residents have consistently
identified traffic and parking as their number one problem in Llangollen.
"Melvyn Mile [Llangollen's other county councillor] and I were both elected in 2017 having said that tackling
these two issues were a priority to us.
"The Llangollen 2020 group was set up in
late 2017 and included both county councillors, two town councillors and two
members of the Llangollen Chamber of Trade. Its task was to establish possible
solutions and explore where any extra money needed would come from.
"The most important
consideration in making such big decisions has been to give everyone the
opportunity to take part in discussions and offer their opinions and
"This is why a professional consultation was carried out by
urban planning consultants from Arcadis Consulting. Denbighshire's
plans will seem very familiar to those who have been following updates as they
closely follow the proposals made by Arcadis in 2019.
"The new design for the
town centre proposed by Arcadis had a price tag of between
£1.5 - £2 million. However, since Denbighshire only had £0.5 million there
was clearly a huge uphill struggle to find the money needed.
"We have spent the
last two years exploring every possible source of money to help to finance the
final plan. This work has been driven forward by the
Llangollen 2020 group, with much of the legwork engaging
potential donors led by Robyn Lovelock [a town councillor] on a voluntary basis.
"As a result of
this work, a complex financial package of £1.8million has been
granted over the past two months that will enable
the town centre regeneration to go ahead, with construction planned to
start in the autumn.
"This means the town has secured nearly four
times the proposed initial investment in Llangollen and
represents Denbighshire's biggest investment in our town for
"The plans will see the
current brick pavements replaced not by concrete or tarmac, but by Yorkshire
stone giving the town a long lasting quality feel.
"The pavements will be
edged with slate from our local Berwyn Slate Quarry on the Horseshoe
Pass. Although these materials are much more expensive in the short term,
they will last for a very long time and prove to be cheaper over their whole
life. Importantly, local in line with Denbighshire's
climate change policy
"Raised crossing points
along Castle Street will make the town safer and much more pedestrian
friendly, encouraging local residents who have been put off from visiting the
town centre by its often hostile environment for the least mobile.
"Wider pavements will
create more space for shoppers and visitors which will encourage
people to stay longer and spend more in the town.
"We want more trees and
plants in the centre of the town. Denbighshire are committed to planting huge
numbers of trees in the next few years and their Tree Officer loves trees!
controversy over the town hall tree is not in the hands of the Llangollen 2020
group, but the tree is certain to remain in its current place if it is healthy.
"The tree is old, but it will stay unless the experts deem it to have come to an
unhealthy or unsafe end to its natural life. Difficult
decisions for a much loved tree!
"If this is the case then an
opportunity to plant one or two mature trees in that area could be taken, subject to Llangollen
Town Council's decision as they own the land outside the town hall.
widely, town and county councillors are looking at ways to improve biodiversity
and green infrastructure across the town. Cittaslow has been looking at this
and the AONB [Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty] is also on the case.
"We hope that you will
get involved in this final consultation so that together we can continue to
influence the future of our town.
"Consultations will be held online and in person
in a way that respects Covid regulations.
"As soon as
final details are available we will be widely publicising how you can take
part and we would appreciate your help letting people who are
not online know that this opportunity is coming up."